The Idea of building and Iterating rather than creating static mockups to explore Design thinking.
We met with an old friend and Tumblr brand strategist inside Tumblr’s NYC HQ last week and talked about what’s happening with brands on TUMBLR.
We were shocked to hear that 5 global brands have already moved top level domains to Tumblr. That’s right global brands are dumping their websites in favor of a micro blogging platform.
Let’s look at why:
Tumblr has a world class hosting infrastructureBacked By Yahoo and With a cadre of developers dedicated to improving Tumblrs awesome every day. End to end software, server and connectivity all in one house with paired software and hardware improvements) this is what makes great web properties run really well. and what most dedicated servers are supposed to be before they fall well short of the mark of excellence. How do we know Tumblr will be good at this? Remember GEOcities. Yeah so do we. In 1999 GeoCities was acquired by Yahoo!; at that time it was the third-most visited Web site on the World Wide Web. There were at least 38 million user-built pages on GeoCities before it was shut down in 2009 (Good job Yahoo). But TUMBLR has revenue, a feat Geocities was too before it’s time to get big brands into.
Baked in Virality
Every piece if content is super easy to engage with, share, and reblog. Instead of betting big on a Facebook page where you are waiting to get .1% of Facebook’s total traffic to your page and then even less to click through to your website. The whole branded web experience lives in a native environment with 199.1 visitors per month.
Built for Mobile
The Tumblr experience strips all of the fluff out of web browsing and puts as little as possible between the user and the content. Window dressing is nice but todays web user is on a mobile device, driving, Swilling a half-caf soy latte, and trying to get the 3 year old in the back seat to daycare and get to work on time. It fast. It only takes a thumb to manipulate, Youtube videos play in place, Instagram photos show in place, and stuff can be automatically shared from Tumblr to Facebook. TUMBLR is built for the dual screening multi tasking over caffeinated, ADD stricken american consumers. As a result 50% of active Tumblr users are on mobile.
Content Comes First
Conversation on Tumblr are ONLY around shared content. No content no interaction. No annoying posts like “my cat rolled over” that still keep the mass market at arms length from Twitter. Nor the deluge of auto-selected Cyberdyne curated Hal 9000 controlled content from fbook. (sorry Mr. Z.) and unlike GPlus people actually use it because it’s built for people not software.
Tumblr is not a DIY mass market ad platform yet ( and we hope they don’t race to the bottom to become one) Tumblr has real advertising for real scale companies. The little guys can get by on producing awesome content and leveraging virality. Tumblr’s leadership is treating the channel with some respect and making sure the brands getting first page promoted Status and mass outreach are capped with reasonable enough minimums that the users feeds aren’t overrun by advertising and promoted clickbait. They’ve even partnered with agencies to build strategies hand in hand with their advertisers.
It’s Time To Test Now!
Our visit made us rethink our relationship with the social web. Committing to go all-in on Tumblr is letting a handful of early adopting brands turn every post into an easy to find, easy to interact with and easier to share trackable nugget of content marketing gold with the full hereditary nature of Viral shares plain to see and analyze. No more digging through wonky analytics to find influencers, it’s all super transparent to you and your followers and the influencers.
We are starting to believe that If you have a consumer facing brand a custom Tumblr site and a strong Content strategy may be a bigger winner than most any other CMS on the market. Stay tuned for some tests as we look at how Tumblr performs in moving feet not just mouse clicks.
Facebook Timeline Rollout ‘When It’s Ready’: Lavrusik
Julie Andrews from AllFacebook tells us how Vadim Lavrusik’s speech for the Changing Media Landscape panel at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism convinced his audience that volume equals quality. Same idea for Facebook Timeline going 100% public, he says “It will launch when it’s ready.” We can safely assume that it’s not ready yet.
17 Twitter Marketing Tips From the Pros
17 marketing pros share one tip to improve your Twitter presence and gain traffic. Not only to Twitter but your blog/website and attract new customers.
Email and social media study highlights differences between US and UK
This article highlights the difference between the usage of email, Facebook and Twitter in the UK and the US. The UK cares more about the free stuff than the US, surprisingly!
Four ways to fight the freelance funk
Sometimes as freelancers we occupy most of our time working (because honestly we can survive on coffee and bagels), and sometimes our brains just give up on the creativity fight. Here’s an article with four tips on how to give yourself a break.
Writing WordPress Guides For The Advanced Beginner
If you want to get noticed, write a tutorial. Google “how to…” and you’ll learn “how-to…” So here are great tips that our friends from Smashing Magazine put together to help you bring attention to yourself on the web by improving a WordPress tutorial for the smart folk. By making your tutorials easier to understand, you’ll greatly increase your own Web traffic and enrich the greater WordPress community.
this question is one of the hardest questions for web designers/ developers and customers to address. On the custom side we all want to know what kind of budget should i prepare for a project, and how much time, money, and energy will it take on my part to get it done.
That is a fair request.
However on the inverse side no two customers come to a web designer at the same stage in their ideation process, and idea development can be costly for both parties.
Imagine going to a restaurant and saying: “I want food. How much will food cost?”
Depending on weather or not you want one course or 5 and if you will have cocktails or not, and how many people are in your party “food” could cost any where from $6 to $6000.
This is effectively the question that we web marketing folks get when a customer says “what does a website cost” there needs to be a lot more discourse about how developed your idea is, and what kinds of pieces and parts are included. If you are talking about a mission critical website that will run your entire business model that requires 24×7 monitoring and has to provide service for millions of users per hour, well that costs quite a bit more than a brochure ware website that includes three points about your company, a poem, and some stock photography.
I would warn that the later does you no good in differentiating you from your competitors. In many instances I have seen companies in a competing market with the SAME stock photography on their websites as their competitors. They got websites, they were probably inexpensive, and they probably function meaning they pull up when someone types in the address. But why would you willingly spend a single dollar on that kind of result?
Your website is the professional face of your company, and until you are in touch with the goals of your website project you can’t really address the cost of the website.
What is developing a loyal following of customers that believe in your brand as the best solution in market and send you a steady stream of referrals worth?
If you ask a web designer to elevate your brand to a status position above your competitors, that is a more specific request but even then the developer will need to know what you are up against. If your competitor has three points and a poem you can reach status quickly, but if your competitor has a website that does client services, and online billing/ e-commerce, and transforms into a private jet to fly customers to a secure meeting location in the cayman islands, well that’s a bit more intense.
The bottom line is web design/ development costs are subjective.
The best place to start is with Goals for your web project. Tangible revenue or cost management based goals. Then you can talk intelligently about what a realistic budget is and you and your web team can partner to find the best solution.
Any web designer/ developer that isn’t willing to work with you on those kinds of terms, probably isn’t able to help you define a solution that actually improves your business. And if it won’t be a real business improvement, why are you willing to authorize the expenditure anyway?
If Vince Shlomi can sell the Slapchop and the ShamWow on late night cable with crappy high pressure smamry sales techniques why isn’t your website converting more of the viewers who actually make an effort to see it into customers?
It’s because unlike Vince you don’t know how to excite people correctly and ask them to take action! Business websites regularly accept a 2 to 5% conversion rate as a “good” average conversion.
WAKE UP PEOPLE. If only 5% of the people who visit your website are interested in what you offer you need to change something. The problem is not that the numbers of interested parties are low. Here is a news flash if people aren’t interested in you and what you offer they will not visit your website. They may not be ready to buy yet but a visit is an indication of interest in a topic you cover. That means it is your job to inspire them to become a customer while they are viewing your website. And in most cases I have found the failure point is the call to action.
The 5 mistakes in your Current Calls to action:
1. No Call to Action at All
The most common mistake I’ve seen in a 12 years working with small businesses on their web marketing is expecting that a little button in the corner that says contact is enough to entice people to contact you. (this is why 2% conversion rates happen) very few of your potential customers want what you have from you so badly that they will contact you to get it. You MUST include a call to action of some kind on EVERY page in your website. Think of each call to action as one of the steps in your driving directions from Google maps. They aren’t all about the destination but they are all moving you one stage closer to the end goal.
Read, Learn, or See xxxx Click Here (this is a basic call to action that can fit on any page in your website because it links to further info (this is the smallest action you will ask someone to take. Including this alone will boost your page views by up to 100%
2. Not offering value for value
Customer information is currency. That is why facebook advertising is growing like crazy as is their corporate valuation. Every call to action that asks a customer to fill out a form, or sign up for a mailing list, or even share your information should tell them specifically what value they will get in return for doing so. In fact don’t even ask them to give you information just tell them what they are going to get and let them click on the link.
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3. Not Specific Enough
Odds are you do more than one specific thing for different types of customers. You probably even have pages that talk about different services or different ideas on your website. That means you need different offer for each page type. If you nutritional supplements for energy, immune system boosting, and increased focus, you need three different sets of calls to action. And you need to target your page content so if you are talking about increased energy your call to action should include something about increased energy. If you are talking about immune system health your call to action should include immune system info. Only using one call to action will immediately inform the visitors interested in your other benefits that you are not offering them anything at this time.
Immune System Page: Get a free sample of our Immune System boosting Supplement Click Here
Energy Page: Try Energy Booster for Free Click Here
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4. Poor Page Placement
Calls to action should have on visible spot on every screen worth of scrolling. If I am reading your two screen long article on how to combat the signs of aging at any point in the reading process it has to be easy for me to click on a call to action and take the next step. DO NOT make me scroll to the bottom, or back to the top to find your call to action, I will just leave your site instead! Always make sure you have a call to action above the fold. (I prefer half way down the screen on the right hand side) most people are right handed and as such their mouse pointer hovers to the right as they read your content putting your fist call to action there will increase results.
Add another link to your most related call to action inside the body copy of your article as link text AND as a graphic. Last, include a call to action at the end of the page close to the bottom. If I have read your whole article please reward me with an easy next step don’t force me to go scrolling around hunting for it. You will lose me if you do.
Placing a click-able call to action in each screen worth of content makes it easier for your visitors to take action when they are ready without having to hunt for the button.
best conversion come from having one obviousl clickable call to action in each “screen” worth of content.
5. No Variety
If I visit 5 pages in your website and see the same 5 calls to action you are missing the boat! I haven’t clicked on the call to action you offered me because that particular one didn’t appeal to me.
This is where split testing or A/B testing can be valuable. Run two versions of each call to action, link to separate conversion pages that are no different except for the description of what the user will get. You will be amazed at how quickly your overall conversion rates improve but odds are you will eventually find multiple calls to action are equally good performers.
Variety is the biggest key to seeing 30% plus conversion rates. If each call to action connects with 5% of your visitors then you don’t need “better” calls to action, you need more of them that are equally good because not all of your visitors are the same and this is one of the most important realities of web marketing.
Both of these calls to action would appear on different pages in a site related to supplements increased focus:
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Increasing your conversion rates is not rocket science; it’s about understanding the dynamics of people and communication. Remember the keys that people need to be lead, it has to be easy, they have to get big value for anything they give you, and they are not all motivated by the same offers.
Go re-visit your website and look for the mistakes above. How many of them are you making? Got additional insights on calls to action and conversion rates? Please comment below and share them below.
I’ve scoured over the site stats to let you all know what you thought was the most important content I’ve provided this year. Here are the results. in 2010 the 10 most viewed articles I’ve written are listed below.
The content ranges from Facebook, to Foursquare, to wordpress plugins but the big buzz in 2010 you can probably guess TWITTER. If you missed some of these articles please give ’em a read your peers liked them so you might to.
Please comment and let me know if you would like to see any followups to these in 2011 or add any updated insights since some of these were published quite some time ago in internet years.
Number 5: List of Active FourSquare Badges
Number 1: 20 Twitter Bios that demand Attention
This is a list of 10 most important WordPress plugins that you should install in order to get a blog that has excellent functionality and high traffic. The plugins are in order of importance. If you feel that you don’t want to install all of them in one day be sure to start with the more important ones!
All in one SEO you have been deposed. HeadSpace provides you with the features you need to drive your site to the top. People spend way to much time working on SEO and too little time writing great content. This plugin let’s you put your focus back where it belongs. It takes care of all the SEO work that your blog will need.
The Mobile web is a big reality u need to be compatible. This plugin allows you to instantly and effortlessly transform your website into a mobile paradise. Whenever a mobile user accesses your blog a pleasant looking lighter version designed specially for mobile devices is presented. This is a must have for 2010.
Do you inter-link your articles? You should. Linking within an article to other articles is a great way to build Page Rank throughout your site and it’s a great way to get readers to find your other articles on similar subjects. This plugin will interlink keywords to your other articles for you.
Using your entire post title as the slug for the article can make web addresses long and it can waste the opportunity to focus on using your keywords. This plugin strips out all the unnecessary words from the permalink for you so that you don’t have to.
Google Analyticator allows you to use Google Analytics to track visitors to your blog without having to add the tracking code manually to your WordPress blog. If you aren’t using google analytics already u are seriously missing the boat and if you aren’t combining analyticator with wordpress you are wasting lots of time clicking between windows.
This plugin automatically checks all the comments and trackbacks people leave to your blog to see if any of them is spam. This is a super basic one but if you aren’t using it you hate your email. Get this installed, It is totally automatic, so you don’t have to do anything (if you don’t want to). Akismet comes together with WordPress, but in order to activate it, you need a API key. You can get one by signing up at wordpress.com
This plugin generates a XML sitemap of your blog each time you write a new post and lets Google and other search engine know of new content. Without Google XML Sitemaps it could take Google weeks to make your new article findable from their search engine, but with XML Sitemaps they will always know if you have new content.
If a reader enjoys one of your articles then one of the best things that you can do is to put some more articles in front of them to keep them digging through your site.
This plugin gives your readers an opportunity to subscribe to comments left to a particular post. New comments are automatically emailed to the user.
This plugin automatically counts who are your blogs top commentators and shows them with a link to their website on a sidebar. This is a great way to increase the comments left to your blog because it gives your readers the chance to benefit from your blogs traffic.
Bonus Plug in
If you’re using the TweetMeMe tweet counter badge on your blog then kill it right now. Don’t require your users to authorize another program to access their Twitter account just to share a link to your site. If you aren’t already using tweetmeme then you need to know this plugin will automatically allow users to re-tweet your twitter account with a link to the content in your blog post. (one of the best traffic generation tools currently active on the internet)